Protest against COVID-19 measures becomes violent in Brussels – POLITICO

A protest of tens of thousands against coronavirus measures in Brussels became violent on Sunday when protesters threw objects at police and officers used used water cannons and tear gas to push the demonstration back.

According to police discretion35,000 people gathered in front of the Gare du Nord train station for the protest called “Together for freedom”, after the Belgian government last week announced stricter measures to combat rising COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.

The new rules, which came into force over the weekend, include mandatory mask wearing for everyone aged 10 and over for indoor and certain outdoor activities, as well as making homework mandatory four days a week and limiting the number of people present at gatherings.

“We condemn the measures restricting freedom that have not provided a structural solution for health services,” protest organizers said in a statement.

A group of protesters turned off the authorized road to the demonstration and were pushed back by police with water cannons and tear gas. Around 5pm local time, police said the demonstration had been dispersed and officers would continue to make arrests.

The number of participants in the protest was diverse, including pensioners, families and children.

Doug Busvine contributed with reporting.

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